Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 800. Standards for Licensed Family Day Homes

8VAC20-800-500. Outdoor play area and equipment.

A. A nonclimbable barrier at least four feet high such as, but not limited to, a fence or impenetrable hedge shall surround outdoor play areas located within 30 feet of hazards such as, but not limited to, streets with speed limits in excess of 25 miles per hour or with heavy traffic, or railroad tracks.

B. The highest climbing rung or platform on outdoor climbing equipment or top of a slide shall not exceed six feet for school age children and four feet for preschool children.

C. Stationary outdoor playground equipment shall:

1. Not be installed over concrete, asphalt, or any other hard surface;

2. Be placed at least six feet from the perimeter of other play structures or obstacles; and

3. Be firmly anchored with ground supports that are covered with materials to protect children from injury.

D. Outdoor play equipment shall meet the following requirements:

1. "S" hooks shall be tightly closed;

2. Swings shall have flexible seats of rubber, canvas, or nylon;

3. Nonflexible-molded seats shall be used only when a caregiver stays within arm's length of any hard-molded swing in use and is positioned to see and protect other children who might walk into the path of the swing;

4. Openings above the ground that are closed on all sides shall be smaller than 3-1/2 inches or larger than nine inches to prevent head entrapment hazards;

5. Ropes, loops, or any hanging apparatus that might entrap, close, or tighten upon a child shall not be used;

6. Equipment with moving parts that might pinch or crush children's hands or fingers shall not be used unless they have guards or covers; and

7. Equipment with platforms and ramps over 30 inches high shall have been designed with guardrails or barriers to prevent falls.

E. Sandboxes shall be covered when not in use.

F. Trampolines shall not be used during the hours children are in care.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-289.046 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 22VAC40-111-500 derived from Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 7, eff. July 1, 2010; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 24, eff. July 1, 2021.

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